Manawatu / Whanganui

Jill Malcolm comes across the unexpected in the village of Mangaweka, a truly tiny town with an estimated population of approximately 200
Despite being NZ’s longest navigable river, Whanganui River has only two bridges between Whanganui and Taumarunui, but that doesn’t mean there’s any shortage of places to explore
Fine arts and campervans seems an unusual pairing, but when it’s done right, the result is most impressive, as Claire Smith found when she met Vallery, a campervan-come-art gallery.
Known as the ‘gateway to the Ruahines’, Āpiti is one of New Zealand’s tiniest of towns. Claire Smith discovered that the Manawatū township may look unassuming, but it’s home to some treasures – including one of the best barbecue spots in the country.
For those who like dramatic vistas, solitude and stories from the past, the road colloquially known as Gentle Annie, from Taihape in the Rangitikei to Fernhill in Hawke’s Bay, is a compelling drive, writes Jill Malcolm.
Over the past few years, the small Manawatū township of Foxton has been quietly reinventing itself as arts and heritage destination. MCD senior writer Claire Smith heads back to her hometown and is impressed with the changes.